Now that the smartphone market no longer includes the Windows Phone operating system, the New York Police Department provides its officers with Apple's handset models.

On Sunday, the NYPD personnel was reportedly spotted while waiting in line just outside Gramercy Park police academy. According to sources, they are from Patrol Borough Manhattan South and were there to receive their standard issue equipment, which is apparently the new iPhones. A total of 36,000 iPhone 7 and 7 Plus units were released to the authorities.

An Upgrade

These new smartphones are confirmed to be made available free of charge for the NYPD via its contract with AT&T. The replacement program was announced last year as a move to upgrade around the same number of Nokia smartphones issued by the agency.

The Apple devices distributed to the police are part of a $160 million modernization program for police operations. The replacement program will most likely take a week to completely collect the previously issued units. These units will then be sold back to the wireless provider after the data are completely wiped out.

New Year, New Smartphones

The agency's move to replace the 36,000 obsolete Windows Phone units began supposedly last month for Staten Island and Bronx officers. Jessica Tisch, the Deputy Commissioner for Information and Technology for the NYPD, noted that an estimated 600 iPhone 7 and 7 Plus units are given out on a daily basis.

The new smartphones are expected to help police officers do their jobs more efficiently. The new gadgets will help make various functions easier such as 911 dispatches, video and photo surveillance, criminal background checks, and beat reports.

Police have credited the usefulness of the 911 app when it prompted law enforcement personnel to stop a robbery in progress before the dispatcher called it out on the radio.

"I truly feel like it's the ultimate tool to have as a patrol cop," claimed Christopher Clampitt, one of the recipients of the upgrade program. "By the time the dispatcher puts out the job (on the radio) we're already there."

Alerts sent out can be set to a specific location presumably via GPS coordinates so that officers within a specific area are alerted whether they are on or off duty.

Modernizing The Big Apple

Microsoft's decision to end support for the mobile phone platform prompted the New York law enforcement department to replace the obsolete units. Once the rollout of the 36,000 iPhone 7 and 7 Plus units are completed in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens are next on the rollout list.

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